RMN Topic 1 Page 1

Academic Year 2002-2003


UNIVERSITY OF THE WEST INDIES

COLLEGE OF THE BAHAMAS

FACULTY OF LAW

LAW AND LEGAL SYSTEMS

                            

THE NATURE AND FUNCTIONS OF LAW



It is difficult to define law and even more difficult to be concise about its functions. To some, the natural theorists like Aquinas, it mandates a moral value system. To others, the positivists like Austin and Kelsen, it is merely the set of rules, 'posited' or emanating from the legitimate sovereign however defined.


GENERAL READINGS:


Antoine, R.M.B.         Law and Legal Systems in the Commonwealth Caribbean,

                                           Cavendish, London, 1998; Chapter 1

Funk, D.A.                  'Seven Major Functions of Law' Offprint from (1972) 23-2 Case

                                    Western Reserve Law Review, 257

Allot, A                       The Limits of Law, Penguin, England, 1971 pp 9-23

Fuller, Hon L.             Anatomy of the Law, Penguin books, 1971, P. 9-59

 

N.B. ** You may find a synopsis of theories on the nature of law in any book on Jurisprudence, such as Lloyds, Jurisprudence



LAW AS SANCTIONS AND COMMANDS - PRIMARY RULES AND SECONDARY RULES


Hart, H.                       The Concept of Law, pp 1 -17

Antoine, R.M.B.         "The Reintroduction of the Cat-O-Nine Tails in Barbados - A Tale of                                                 Woe", [1991] vol. 1 Carib L.R.

Mitchell v DPP (1985) LRC (Const) 127, (1985) 32 W1R 241 (PC)


LAW AS A MORAL FORCE


Devlin             The Enforcement of Morals, Oxford University Press, 1965, chaps 1-3

Hart, HLA,      "Positivism and the Separation of Law & Morals" (1958) 71 Harv. L.R. 593

Fuller, Hon.L  "Positivism and Fidelity to Law - A Reply to Professor Hart (1958)

                         71 Harv.L.R. 630

                        "The Morality of Law", 1969, London, Yale UP

Thomas, E.     'The Rule of Law' in Commonwealth Caribbean Legal Essays, UW1, 1982


R v Gibson (1991) 1 All ER 439 C.A.

Shaw v DPP [1962] A.C. 220; (1961) 2 All ER 446, H. L. 2 WLR 897

Knuller v DPP (1972) 3 WLR 143; (1975) A.L. 435; (1973) 2 ALL ER 446

A.G. v Girard and the St. Lucia Teachers' Union (Unreported) Civil Appeals Nos. 12 and 13 of 1986, decided Jan 25, 1988: Digested in (1991) 1 Carib L.R. 90.




Topic 1 Page 2

Academic Year 2002-2003


THE HISTORICAL FUNCTION OF LAW IN THE COMMONWEALTH CARIBBEAN


In the formation period of West Indian societies, the law played a unique rule in instituting and maintaining the slave system. Historians, sociologists and legal scholars maintain that this historical foundation has left an indelible scar on West Indian society and the legal system.


Shahabuddeen, M.      Slavery and Historiographical Rectification' Guyana Commemoration

                                    Commission, Georgetown, 1984

Goveia E                     'Change and Stability in a W.I. Slave Society' in “Slave Society in the

                                    British Leeward Islands”, 1969

Haynes, J                    'Slavery and the Law' Offprint from International Anniversary of the                                     Abolition of Slavery in the Anglophone Caribbean, Guyana, 1984.

Curtain, P.                  Two Jamaicas, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1955, pp 125-135

Marshall, T.                Post Emancipation Adjustments in Barbados 1838-1876, in

                                “Emancipation - A Series of Lectures”, UWI, Barbados, 1984, p.89-92.


PLURALISTIC SOCIETIES AND THE NATURE OF LAW


West Indian societies are described as pluralistic societies, meaning that they are made up of diverse ethnic, social and religious groups. To what extent is this pluralism reflected in the law?


Mohammed v. Moraine and Another (1995) 49 WIR 371

Henry v Henry (1972) 4 WIR 64


Hindu Marriage Act 1992 - Trinidad and Tobago

Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act 1980 - Trinidad and Tobago

Carib Reserve Act 1978 - Dominica



LAW AS AN INSTRUMENT OF CHANGE AND SOCIAL REFORM


Liverpool, N.J. O        'Towards Reform in Commonwealth Caribbean Property Law' in

                                    Commonwealth Caribbean Legal Essays, UWI, 1982

Marshall, R.                'The Role of Law in the Process of Change' 1984 Sir Winston Scott

                                    Memorial Lecture

Antoine, R.M. B.        "Law and the Caribbean Man - Social Engineering in a Caribbean

                                    Context' (1986) Student Law Review



QUESTIONS


1.         "Morality must always be part of the law." Discuss


2.         What are the main functions of law in a society? What were the historical

            functions of law in West Indian society?




RMN Topic 2 Page 1

Academic Year 2002-2003

 

 

UNIVERSITY OF THE WEST INDIES LL.B. Program

COLLEGE OF THE BAHAMAS

FACULTY OF LAW

Law and Legal Systems

 

 

LOCATING LEGAL SYSTEMS IN THE LEGAL INSTITUTIONS OF THE COMMONWEALTH CARIBBEAN

 

Using the traditional classification of legal systems into legal traditions or families, we can easily identify the dominant legal tradition in the Commonwealth Caribbean as the Common Law legal tradition imported from England from which it originated. Yet this does not give us the total picture. There are significant mutations, such as the hybrid legal traditions in St. Lucia and Guyana. Further, when we consider that the classification exercise attempts to describe the fundamental and unique characteristics of the system, we find other substantial influences on our legal systems, born out of the pluralistic and cosmopolitan nature of our societies.

 

 

 

Identifying a Legal System

 

Brierley, David R & J.                     Major Legal Systems in the World Today (3rd ed) Stevens, London 1985

Zweigert & Kotz,II            An Introduction to Comparative Law, Volume 1, N. Holland Pub. Amsterdam,               1977

Raz, J.                                              The Concept of a Legal System, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 2nd Ed. 1980

Antoine, R.M.B                               Commonwealth Caribbean Law and Legal Systems, Cavendish, London

                                           1998 ch. 2 & 3

 

 

 

Hybrid Legal Systems in the Commonwealth Caribbean

 

Anthony, K.                       "The identification and classification of mixed systems of law"

                                           in Kodilinye and Menon (eds.) Commonwealth Caribbean Legal

                                           Studies, Butterworths, London, 1992

Anthony, K.                       "The Viability of the Civilist Tradition in Saint Lucia" in Landry and

                                           Caparros (eds), Essay on the Civil Codes of Quebec and St. Lucia 33

Ramsahoye, F.                                 "Roman Dutch and Roman Law in Guyana" (Unpublished Mimeo) 1983

Campbell, C.                      "The Transition from Spanish Law to English Law in Trinidad

                                           Before and after Emancipation" (1989) 3.3. The Lawyer, 15

Smith, T. B.                       "The Preservation of the Civilian Tradition in Mixed Jurisdictions"

                                           in A.N. Yionnopoulous (ed.) Civil Law in the Modern World,

                                           Louisiana State University Press, US 1965, p.3

 

              Ramamugh & Another v. Hand in Hand Mutual Life Insurance & Others (1992) 47 W1R 198

              The St. Lucia Civil Code

 

 


RMN Topic 2 Page 2

Academic Year 2001-2002

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pluralism and Other Influences on our Legal Systems

 

West Indian societies are described as pluralistic societies, meaning that they are made up of diverse ethnic, social and religious groups. To what extent is this pluralism reflected in the law?

 

Sagar, K.                            "Law and Custom in the WI" (Unpublished Thesis) 1978

Smith, M. G.                      The Plural Society in the British WI, LA 1965

 

                            Mohammed v. Morraine (1995) 49 WIR 371

                            Henry v. Henry (1972) 4 WIR 64

                            The Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act 1980 - Trinidad and Tobago

                            The Hindu Marriage Act 1992 - Trinidad and Tobago

                            The Carib Reserve Act 1991, Dominica

 

              For comparison with the US scenario, see:

              Osakwe, C.          "Louisiana Legal System: A Confluence of Two Legal Systems

                                           (1986) Am L. Comp. L. 29

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.           Explain the notion of a hybrid legal system. Does it merit a separate category of                                           classification in the Commonwealth Caribbean?

 

2.           Does the notion of a 'pluralistic society' add any important variety to our legal systems?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


RMN Topic 3 Page 1

Academic Year 2002-2003

 

UNIVERSITY OF THE WEST INDIES LL.B. Program

COLLEGE OF THE BAHAMAS

FACULTY OF LAW

Law and Legal Systems

 

ORIGINS AND EVOLUTION OF LAW IN THE LEGAL INSTITUTIONS OF THE COMMONWEALTH CARIBBEAN

 

THE RECEPTION OF LAW AND ITS HISTORICAL CONSTRUCT

 

The study of Commonwealth Caribbean law and legal institutions requires an appreciation of the historical experiences of slavery and colonialism. Both events have shaped not only the direction and physical manifestations or our law but have contributed to many of what today are perceived as 'deficiencies' in the legal system. Not least of these is the accusation that our law and legal system still suffers from 'a colonial mentality' i.e. is not independent, assertive and relevant enough for our peculiar social circumstances.

 

The English Common Law was received by the Commonwealth Caribbean countries as a result of colonialisation. Civil law was also received but the doctrine of reception is largely concerned with the common law. Some theorists prefer to use the term "transplantation" or "imposition" to describe this process the doctrine has more than historical value, for, as we shall see, it addresses the question, at what point do certain laws received or imposed cease to have validity.

 

 

The General Theory of Reception

 

Antoine, R. M. B.                             Commonwealth Caribbean Law and Legal Systems, Cavendish

                                                         London, 1998, chps. 4 & 1

Morrison, D.                                    “The Reception of Law in Jamaica" (1979) 2 W1LJ 43

Patchett, K. W.                                 “The Reception of Law in the WI" (1973) JLJ 17

Burgess, A.D.                                   "Judicial Precedent in the West Indies” (1978) W1LJ 27

 

Reception or Imposition?

 

Nyali v A.G. (1955) ALL ER 646 @ 653

Kaadesevaran v A.G. (1970) AC 1111 @ 1116

 

The process of reception was directly related to whether colonies were settled or conquered. In general, the transplantation process was more complex in conquered colonies.

 

Levy & Wood v. Administrator of the Cayman Islands (1952-79) CILR 42

R. v Vaughan (1769) 4 Barr 2492

Campbell v Hall (1770) 1 Comp.

 

The Date of Reception

 

Blades v Jaggard (1961) 4 W1R 207

Shillingford v. A.G. of Dominica (1967) 12 W1R 57

Jemmot v Phang (1963) 6 W1R 36

Persaud v Plantation Versailles (1970) 17 W1R 107

The Declaratory Act, ch. 4 [1987] Revision of the Statute Laws of The Bahamas

 

 

RMN Topic 3 Page 2

Academic Year 2002-2003

 

 

 

 

The Local Circumstances Rule

 

Although a court may be bound to English statute which was received, that statute may be modified or ignored if local circumstances or conditions demand it. In such a situation, the statute is deemed unsuitable for the particular jurisdiction.

 

Brett v. Young (1882) 1NZLR 264

Cooper v Stuart (1889( 14 App Cas 286

Maxwell v. Maxwell (1941) 2 DLR 655

A.G. v. Stewart (1817) 2 Mer 143 35 ER 895

Leong v Lim Beng Chye (1955) A.C. 665

 

 

 

The Historical Precepts of WI Law

 

Shahabuddeen, M.                           The Legal System of Guyana, Georgetown, Guyana, 1973

Marshall, T.                                      "Post Emancipation Adjustments in Barbados 1838-76"

                                                         in Emancipation 1 - A Series of Lectures, 1984, Barbados

Williams, E.                                     "Slavery and the Plantation System" in The Negro in the                                                                                  Caribbean, 1944, Manchester, Ch.. 1

 

 

 

QUESTIONS

 

1.         Evaluate the historical functions of law in WI society. How has this impacted on

             modern society? What similarities do you see exist with the North American

             experience?

 

2.         Of what relevance is the doctrine of reception in contemporary legal systems?

 

 

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